I recently completed my third year as the CEO of Bright Computing, and it seems that a day doesn’t go by without me discovering some new (to me) capability within our product, Bright Cluster Manager. With more than a decade of development and customer implementations under its belt, coupled with a product team of 40 people working on the product every day, it’s obviously hard to keep up with everything this product can do. But while the product has grown in capability, it has remained true to its reputation for being easy to use.
Each year, we survey our customers to see how we’re doing, to solicit feedback on product direction and to understand how our product is being used. We just completed our 2019 customer survey which was sent to more than a thousand individuals, and it was the most comprehensive survey we’ve ever issued. We will publish the findings shortly, but I wanted to share one data point that I think reflects the essence of our software: The top 5 benefits that our customers value most in our product. Here they are in the stated order of importance:
1. Bright makes it easier for me to setup and deploy my cluster
2. Bright makes it easier for me to keep the software on my cluster up to date
3. Bright makes it easier for me to make changes to my cluster
4. Bright makes it easier for me to monitor my cluster and resolve problems
… and the last one was a tie between,
5. Bright gives me a centralized view of everything in my cluster
5. Bright promotes standardization within our clustered infrastructure
The reason I love this kind of insight is that it gives us a “true north” for product development. By understanding the key benefits and value our software provides to customers, we’re able to use these as guideposts in determining where to focus our attention when developing a new capability. For example, when we add support for the next big thing beyond Kubernetes, machine learning, etc., we understand that we need to do more than just make it easy to setup and deploy (whatever the next thing is), we also need to make sure that it’s easy to update and make changes, easy to monitor and resolve problems, and ensure that (the new thing) is included in the centralized view that we provide.
It's great to have customer insight, and, to be able to act on it.